CWFNC’s Resolution to Oppose the Atlantic Coast Pipeline

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September, 2017

Whereas the over $5.5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) proposed by Duke Energy, Dominion Resources and Piedmont Natural Gas would be nearly 600 miles long, 36 to 42 inch diameter, highly pressurized natural gas pipeline planned to go through West Virginia, Virginia and eastern North Carolina;

Whereas, the pipeline would be paid for by rate increases for all Duke and Dominion customers and, if approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, would provide a profit up to 14%-15% for pipeline owners whether or not the pipeline is ever used;

Whereas, multiple independent studies have shown that increased gas supply is not even needed for the region the ACP would pass through, where demands for electric power are flat and expected to remain so until at least 2034;

Whereas landowners in the pipeline corridor who depend on their land for retirement security and inheritance or for agricultural uses may lose land value, forest, control of land use and productivity while still having to pay taxes on it;

Whereas the ACP would also have extensive health and safety impacts on vulnerable African American, Native American and low income communities in the impacted counties; with 7 of the 8 eastern NC counties through which the pipeline would pass having significantly lower average incomes than the state as a whole, and significantly higher percentage people of color than the state as a whole;

Whereas federal requirements are inadequate to ensure safety for people in the vicinity of gas pipelines in the United States; with the blast zone/potential impact radius for a pipeline of this size and pressure extending 943 feet (almost ¼ mile) and the evacuation zone 3071 feet (over ½ mile) from the center of the pipeline;

The failure rate of pipelines built since 2010 is actually higher than for pipelines built in the 1940s, and from 2010 and 2015 a total of 12.8 billion cubic feet of methane leaked from natural gas lines nationwide in 700 incidents where 70 people were killed and nearly 300 injured;

Whereas, in rural areas, the pipeline wall will be substantially thinner and the remotely operated sensors that Dominion says would detect gas leaks have a high failure rate;

Whereas, jobs are always presented to officials as a big selling point for new pipeline projects, particularly in low income areas, and Dominion’s literature has greatly exaggerated the number of even temporary construction jobs, with only 18 permanent jobs being needed for the ACP in NC;

Whereas, studies show that investments in renewable energy and efficiency upgrades produce many more jobs, and more cost effective and safe energy production;

Whereas WV, VA and NC are already being harmed by longer heat waves, crop damage, sea level rise, more flooding and stronger storms and scientist warn that climate change is a crisis that must be tackled immediately and the growing use of fracked gas (methane) is deepening climate impacts due to leakage and intentional venting of natural gas from drilling sites, pipelines and even gas power plants.

Therefore, be it resolved that Clean Water for North Carolina opposes the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and commits resources and staff time to help build resistance to the ACP now to protect landowners, water, safety of nearby residents and environmental justice by:

  1. Encouraging members to participate in alliances of statewide and regional environmental justice
    organizations working against the ACP
  2. Encouraging members to attend public hearings about the ACP and call/write their elected officials to
    voice their opposition and concerns about its permitting, health & safety, community residents’
    displacement and loss of land use as well as increased customer rates to cover building cost and profits
    to ACP owners.
  3. Continue to reach out to impacted communities and educate our members about the environmental
    justice, water and climate harms of the ACP and other environmental justice pipeline struggles such as
    the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s fight to oppose the Dakota Pipeline, and the community opposition to
    the Mountain Valley Pipeline in WV and VA well as struggles for safe drinking water across NC in
    residences and workplaces.

Approved by Clean Water for NC Board of Directors September 30, 2017

Tina Motley-Pearson, Board Chair
Andrea Emanuel, Board Vice Chair

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